“A perfect... Mark Twain-style... Tom and Huck for the 21st century. True brilliance... in the finest American tradition.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Take a little Huck Finn, add in some Forrest Gump, mix in some wild and crazy travel adventures... and enjoy yourself.” —NetGalley Review
“Read it as a page-turner, enjoy the magical realism when it crops up, and stew on the harder questions posed, but by all means, buy this book!” —NetGalley Librarian Review
Sometimes you have to voyage to the ends of the earth to find your way home...
The trouble begins for young Ruby and his best friend, Quinn, after an accident in the forest outside their rural Adirondack hometown. Their attempt to cover-up their mistake ignites a local skirmish with one of the most influential families in America and leads to Ruby's death—or so everyone thinks. Plenty alive and sensing an adventure, Ruby disappears and soon weaves his way across the country in a series of narrow escapes from danger. Journeying from the Adirondacks, through New York City, and into the heart of the American West, Ruby and Quinn discover the importance of true friendship, the meaning of family, and the immensity of the world beyond their backyards.
Told through the spirited and unspoiled eyes of an orphan from the northern woods, this modern-day Huck Finn is broadly entertaining and humorous on its surface while tapping into a much deeper dialogue about life in America.
(Still available on NetGalley for limited time: UP A TREE on NetGalley.)
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The acclaimed historical thriller about civil rights, revolution, and the mysterious birth of the Delta blues. Fast, powerful, and entertaining.
★★★★★ 4.5-Star Average Reader Review!
AMAZON BEST SELLER in Historical Fiction & Historical Thrillers!
AMAZON #1 BEST SELLER in Blues Books!
"...poignant...insightful..." —Kirkus Reviews
"...this is storytelling at its best..." —Fortean Times Magazine
In 1915, in a moonlit room in a boarding house in Texas, Charlie Patton — the enigmatic inventor of blues music — founds a shadowy alliance with Huddie ‘Lead Belly’ Ledbetter and Blind Lemon Jefferson. A pact is made, and the seeds of revolution are sown. Back at the Dockery Plantation in the Mississippi Delta, with the help of the likes of Son House, Howlin‘ Wolf, Robert Johnson, and others, Charlie’s plan spreads across the South, and then across the country. But these bluesmen have no way of knowing where this dangerous road will lead. Nor do they know the Ku Klux Klan is watching.
In 2002, Franklyn O’Connor — an adventurous and penniless youth — sits at a lonely bar in the train station of his small upstate New York hometown holding a one-way ticket to the Crossroads in the Mississippi Delta. There he hopes to track down his deadbeat father, who walked out on his family when Frank was five. With nothing but his rucksack and the unsolicited assistance of a little old man called Furry Jenkins, Frank soon unwittingly drifts into the middle of a combustible racial feud at the intersection of a still divided society. A shocking truth waiting down the line.
With the rambling pioneers of blues music leading an unforgettable cast of characters, this raw, rousing and adventurous debut novel delivers a breathtaking view of life, livin’, love and hate in America in the 20th century, and the mysterious beginnings of the music that provided the soundtrack for it all...THE BLUES.
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